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2007 Napa Valley "Haynes Vineyard"

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About the Vineyard...
This block of the Haynes Vineyard, located in a cool pocket of the southeastern Napa Valley, is a part of California wine- making history. Mt. George, the once-active volcano that coated this region with its characteristic layer of volcanic soils, looms to the north, and in the upper blocks of Haynes, original vines, planted in 1966 by Pat and Duncan Haynes, continue to produce balanced, fully-ripened Chardonnay, full of rich fruit flavors, an enthralling mineral component, and with extraordinary natural acidity. Fernando Delgado has lived on and managed the care for this vineyard since 1970. The vines are from an old Wente selection, yielding small berries and clusters and believed to have been first brought to California by Paul Masson from Louis Latour’s Corton Charlemagne vineyard. The Haynes Vineyard, in a part of Napa little known to the world at large but oft-lauded by locals, attracted none other than the great Andre Tchelistcheff, who believed strongly in this vineyard’s potential to make great wines and was an early winemaker on the property. Today, Delgado continues to custom prune each of these knobby, old, head-trained vines, expertly choosing the healthiest and strongest canes to support yet another vintage of profound Chardonnay.
About the Vintage...
The weather in 2007 remained cool and steady throughout August and September, allowing the grapes to achieve optimal ripeness levels without sacrificing acidity, resulting in wines that come close to that difficult to realize platonic point of balance between power and grace, depth and vivacity. This Chardonnay, as usual, came in after much of our Pinot Noir, with intense flavors and a high, balanced acidity.    The vintage shows great power in its youth, but the structure of the wine promises a long, brilliant life in the cellar, with an intense and lingering minerality already showing through.
About the Wine...
We gently pressed the grapes as whole clusters, settled and fermented entirely in French cooperage, mostly new. We fermented with native yeast, and allowed the wines an extensive aging period, sur lees, bottling after a total of 18 months in barrel. The bright and balanced acidity of the Haynes Chardonnay encouraged a complete malolactic fermentation, allowing us to bottle the wine unfiltered. 79 cases produced.
Tasting Notes...
The initial nose of tropical fruits, citrus zest, apple and ripened Asian pears, is touched with straw, honey, and a softened whiff of oak and cedar. The nose opens further to a rich melange of spicy melon, figs, dates, and meringue. The palate is immediately bright and fresh, and the mouth-feel is significant and rich, expansive and increasing in intensity. Pineapple and tangerine notes emerge from the full-bodied mid-palate. The finish is a lengthy and powerful amalgamation of ripe fruit, baking and holiday spices and mouth-filling minerality with a soft, tannic grip. The nose continues to evolve, revealing nuances throughout the finish.